The following introduction is as provided by Zvezda:
The WC family of all wheel drive vehicles was developed by order of the US army at the end of 1941 and produced from 1942-45. WC-51 is the base and most numerous model in the family. 123,541 being produced. 24,902 units of the WC-51 and WC-52 were sent to the USSR under the lend/lease agreement. In the Red army they received the nickname “three quarters” because of their carrying capacity of 750 kilos (3/4 tonnes). The WC-51 had many uses: as a command car, weapons carrier, artillery tractor for anti tank guns, reconnaissance and troop transport.
This offering from Zvezda is packaged in a flip top cardboard tray, with an additional card carton featuring the artwork. Moulding quality is good, with ejector pins marks being the only concern. Access to the parts is also good, but parts could easily be knocked off of the sprues, due to them all being packaged in one bag. Before you begin construction of the model, give some thought as to if you wish to finish it with the bonnet hatches opened or closed, and the rear bed with or without its metal frame. Also if you wish to have the canvas cover provided in place.
The oily areas of this model have been very well catered to by Zvezda, despite the fact that no photo etch is included. A high degree of detail is present as regards an engine and gearbox, but the modeller will need to add wiring detail to the engine compartment and fuel and brake lines as you move onto the chassis. The chassis of the model has more parts than I care to imagine, but these will provide an extremely accurate and intricate chassis for the model. The detail is that good, that I believe that if this model is being purchased to replicate a destroyed or damaged vehicle, all of the detail required except wiring is provided.
The body of the vehicle, again has good detail where it matters and I am pleased to see items such as fire extinguishers stored inside of the crew cab. All of the instruments such as pedals, steering wheel, steering column and gear shift are included. A modeller who takes their time to weather the interior cab and has a bit of skill where this is concerned, should end up with a very visually appealing model. The bed of the vehicle is a simple build, but again provides all of the necessary detail required. Of particular note, the seats do have the appearance of having been used and the instrument dials have had decals supplied for them.
The hood portion of the model as stated previously can be shown open or closed, and Zvezda has done a very good job of this detail. Drive shafts and axles are as with the rest of the oily areas well detailed and I believe that the front wheels can be assembled to allow them to be shown turned to whatever angle desired. The tyres of the model are ejection moulded plastic, but are not weighted and are moulded in two halves. The tread that is provided is one that I am familiar with, but I am no longer 100% certain of if it was used during World War II.
The rear deck of the vehicle can be finished with wooden side benches in place, with or without the tubular framework that would support the canvas roof. The canvas roof supplied with the model has a good level of detail to it, and according to the instructions is designed to be placed over the top of the tubular framework, which is more accurate than I have seen from any other manufacturer that I am aware of.
The finishing options for this release are pleasing as they cover multi national uses, these are:
Dodge WC-51, Free French Army, 2emeDB RBFM, Paris 1944
Dodge WC_51, USSR
Dodge WC_51, US Army, France 1944
This release from Zvezda is an impressive model, due to both the price and level of detail from the box. As I have started to look through Zvezda releases I have come to be exceptionally impressed where it comes to kits that they have manufactured and produced themselves, rather than re-boxing of somebody else’s products. I remember as a child in the 70’s that kits from Russia were exceptionally questionable when it came to both detail and fit of parts. Those concerns can no longer be laid at Zvezda’s door, as this is a truly beautiful model in all respects and I have no concerns about highly recommending this model to you.